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Full text of "The Atlantic royals-Royal Edward Royal George, the Canadian Northern Steamships .."

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Queen's University at Kingston 




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12.000 TONS 




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NOTHING in the whole range of travel is equal to the trip 
from Montreal to the Atlantic Ocean. It is a way of pro- 
longed quiet and beauty into the ocean which connects and 
separates the New World and the Old. 

For nearly a thousand miles from Montreal the Canadian Northern 
steamships follow a sheltered land-locked course down the wondrous 
St. Lawrence. For almost a third of the entire journey to England the 
passengers enjoy a perpetual procession of interesting scenery, redolent of 
the romance which marked the early conflicts of English and French arms 
for the possession of this continent. The peaceful habitant country, the 
bold Laurentian Mountain scenery, and many points of outstanding 
historical significance contribute to the interesting panorama. The river 
and gulf abound in life. One's ship is constantly meeting inbound and 
overtaking outbound vessels. The monotonous sea voyage is broken. 

There has never been at the disposal of the traveller to and from 
Canada, by the wondrous St. Lawrence, the speed and luxury that are 
afforded by the "Royal George" and the "Ro}^al Edward." The "Royal 
Edward" has done the passage from port to port in 5 days and 20 hours, 
and the "Royal George" is equally fast. The "Royal Edward," which is 
the company's flagship, has done the trip from land to land in 3 days and 
143^2 hours. Only three and a half days out of sight of terra firma. 

This twin-ship beginning of the Canadian Northern Royal Line of 
passenger boats is conclusive proof that the day of the Canadian route to 
the British Isles, not only for Canada but for the United States, has arrived. 
With it has come also the recovery by Bristol of her place as the port from 
which the quickest passages to British North America are made; for the 
Royal Line connects Montreal with the West of England, and also with 
London, by the shortest sea route travelled by the fastest steamers; and 
by the shortest rail route — the Great Western — covered by the fastest 
trains that are in all-British service anywhere in the world. 


The St. Lawrence Route 

Travellers by the "Royal" Line derive the maximum of delightful inter- 
est from the wondrous journey down the St. Lawrence. Passengers having 
embarked the previous night, the steamers slip from their moorings at Mon- 
treal as the dawn breaks on the morning of the sailing day. 

For half a day the ship picks her way along the buoyed course. On either 
bank the eye surveys stretches of flat country dotted with the steep-roofed 
houses of the pious, contented, French Canadian habitants. Here and 
there a town or village straggles down to the water's edge, and always in 
the midst, head and shoulders above the homes of the citizens, looms the 
great parish church, with its graceful pair of pierced towers or steeples. 
The island-guarded mouth of the Richelieu and the town of Sorel, with 
their romantic historical associations covering a period of three centuries, 
drift past on the right, and shortly afterwards the steamer enters Lake St. 
Peter. Three Rivers, the site of the first Canadian smelting plant, is the 
next point of interest. Lower down is the village of St. Augustine, with its 
church, the stones for which, according to tradition, were drawn by the 
devil in the guise of a monstrous black horse. Now the banks of the St. 
Lawrence take on a bold and picturesque aspect, and a couple of hours 
later the steamer passing between the high banks of Point Levis and the 
heights of Quebec, moors at one of the docks which fringe the Lower Town. 

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In situation, and in storied interest, the ancient city 
easily leads all its new world rivals. Stirling, and 
Edinburgh, and Heidelberg are not more regally 
enthroned, and on the Plains of Abraham, beyond 
it, was decided the fate of all North America. Tier 
upon tier, Quebec rises from the water's edge 
to the citadel 300 feet above, and over all floats 
the meteor flag of Old England. The passengers 
have several hours in which to land and explore the points of interest now 
held sacred to the memory of Jacques Cartier, Roberval, Champlain, 
Bigot, Montcalm, Wolfe, Montgomery, and a much longer list of daring 
navigators, adventurous explorers, sturdy pioneers, fearless warriors, and 
pious churchmen. 

Beyond Quebec the steamer continues ocean- wards under the shadow of 
the bold Laurentian range which fringes the northern banks of the lower 
St. Lawrence. Cape Tourmente and Mount Eboulement remind us of the 
earthquake of 1663, concerning which old Jesuit writers preserve the most 
terrifying pictures. Hills were thrown into the river, islands disappeared, the 
air was filled with meteors and fiery- winged serpents. The mountains rise 
to a height of nearly 3,000 feet. Murray Bay, Riviere du Loup, Cacouna, 
Tadousac, and other famous watering places flit by. From the north the 
mighty Saguenay empties itself through a great rent in the Laurentians. 
At its mouth still stands a Jesuit mission chapel built in 1647 and an object 

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of Louis XIV. 's munificence. In the 
earlier hours of the second day the 
steamer slows down at Rimouski to re- 
ceive the Royal mail ; and the pilot is 
"dropped" at Father Point. 

The Gulf and Straits 

Away to the south-east rises the grim outline of Cape Gaspe 
and the mountains of Notre Dame. Later in the day the rock-bound 
coast of Newfoundland lifts itself out of the ocean to the right. We 
approach the Straits of Belle Isle and the bare, mountainous shores of 
Labrador appear. In the clear atmosphere picturesque cliffs rear them- 
selves sheer from the water's edge to a considerable altitude, and the 
traveller glimpses many deep fiords which resemble in their majesty those 
of Norway. 

With the passing of the Belle Isle Straits the river journey ends and 
the ocean voyage begins. Two days of easy sailing have gently accus- 
tomed even the poorest sailor to ship-board — and less than four days of 
the voyage remains. 

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The Steamers — Their Apart- 
ments and Appointments 

The "Royal George " and the ' 'Royal Ed- 
ward" are five hundred and forty-five feet 
long, with sixty feet beam ; and registered ton- 
nage of 12,000. Their triple turbine engines 
can speed them, with a minimum of vibration 
at over twenty knots an hour. They were 
built in Glasgow, and especially adapted for 
Canadian European business, by the Fairfield Shipbuilding Company. 

Imagine the most complete, the most nobly furnished hotel you have 
ever seen. Apply the conditions of its splendor to the limitations imposed 
on the cleverest shipbuilder, and you have still fallen short of the charm 
which fits the "Royal George" and the "Royal Edward" like a garment. 
All the great eras in furniture-making and decorating have been laid 
under contribution to the enjoyment of the passengers. Whether ycu 
walk the spacious decks, sit in the secluded alcoves and watch the rolling 
waves, or occupy yourself in the public or private apartments, there is a 
pervading sense of elegant comfort and swift progress to "the other side." 

Boat Deck 

There is rare delicacy and refinement 
in the appointments of the first class 
cafe. It is in the Regency style, panelled 
in exquisitely carved oak. The furnish- 
ings are faultless examples of the Louis XV. 
style. The lighting deepens the general effect of artistic restraint; 
the ports are coved and curtained, so as to temper daylight to the old 
crimson pink. Forward of the cafe is the Marconi office. 

Promenade Deck 

In the centre of the long steel deck-house of the promenade deck is the 
First Class Music Room, wherein are faithfully reproduced some of the 
finest examples of the Louis XVI. period. A particularly elegant feature 
is a semi-circular setteed recess framing a magnificent statuary chimney 
piece. The ivory white woodwork, carpets, curtains and coverings of 
pastel blue, the crystal effect of leaded glass from the circular dome above, 
combine in a brilliant decorative effect. 

Forward and aft of the music room are state-rooms accommodating 133 
passengers. Here are cabins de-luxe containing sitting rooms, bedrooms 
and bath-rooms, all self-contained and delightfully fitted. The decora- 
tions are of mahogany and satinwood in Sheraton style, with varying color 

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Bridge Deck 

A tour of the bridge deck is a pure delight for the traveller-connoisseur. 
The rooms are filled with ingenious adaptations of historical English and 
French styles. The library, an abode of opulent repose, is a delightful 
reminiscence of the Louis XV. period. Rich tapestries adorn 
the dark oak panelling of the walls. Delicate mouldings and rich, 
restrained carving suggest the elusive charm which characterizes the 
famous chateau at Rombcuillet, decorated while France, was rioting in 
the Revolution and its Napoleonic aftermath. Grey oak and uncommon 
shades of green in the upholsterings help to produce an air of settled, 
reflective charm. 

As tobacco was introduced to the English-speaking world when Eliza- 
beth was Queen, it is fitting that the smoke-room, with its two thousand 
square feet of floor space, should be a fine example of Elizabethan style, 
down to the minutest details of upholstering. The oak panelled walls, 
and the venerable oak beams of the ceiling, with antique hanging lanthorns, 
suggest the baronial hall of an English hero of the Armada. The 
seats, luxuriously covered in leather of a curious red shade, give an 
effective touch of color to a faultlessly appointed apartment. A series of 
ingenious little bays seem to have been specially prepared to invite those 

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genial confidences which often make of the smoke-room a citadel of 
unconquerable laughter. 

Shelter Deck 

The shelter deck is almost wholly appropriated to social life. Here 
are the first class dining saloon, the children's dining saloon, the second 
class smoke-room, lounge, and other public rooms. 

The first class dining saloon is a great achievement in ocean-going aids 
to good cheer. Old voyagers will remember, by blessed contrast, the long, 
narrow tables which used to make the best-served saloons look like charit- 
able institutions. The very aspect of things here is an incitement to 
sociability. The largest table holds but sixteen people — a manageable 
family party — and all around are sheltered nooks in which no more than 
five can foregather. 

The refectory is wide as the ship, and one-seventh of her length. Over 
its centre is a lofty dome — not a decorated skylight raised a few feet above 
the ceiling. Immediately above is the library, which gets its central light 
from the circular-headed windows that enclose the well and perform the 
extra function of helping to ventilate the dining room. Above these are 
the like illuminants of the lounge; so that when you come to the centre of 
the grand saloon, you look up, and up again to the real dome, which opens 
unobscured to the fleckless sky 

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If you are expert in such things you 
will discern that the carving is mod- 
elled upon the exquisite art of Grin- 
ling Gibbons, whose work is in the 
Chapel at Windsor, in the choir at 
$X. Paul's, at Chatsworth, and half a 
dozen other places of the Old Nobility. 
Proportions have had to be modified, 
of course; but the details are all of 
the eighteenth century. 

The double swing doors that com- 
municate with the great staircase are 
of richly figured mahogany, nut brown and wax polished. They contrast 
agreeably with the boldly carved mahogany architraves and carved motif 
above, subdued to cream color to harmonize with the walls and general 
woodwork. The upholstering is of' rich Genoa velvet, and the seats, 
carpets and curtains are in old rose pink. 

The children's saloon is richly furnished and daintily embellished with 
white enamel. 

Up and Down 

For those to whom stairs are a vexation there are elevators; but, in 
the main, life on shipboard is leisurely enough for the passenger to derive 
all possible advantage from the exercise of ascending and descending-* 

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In the principal stairways of a liner the 
naval architect has special opportunity of 
defeating the restrictions which nature 
and mechanics have imposed upon him. 
In the "Royal George " and the "Royal 
Edward" the first class entrances and 
grand staircase are everything that can 
give a sense of dignity and spaciousness. 

The Other Side 

The Canadian Northern steamships, like the Canadian Northern Rail- 
way, will give new life to ancient lines of travel. 

The steamers are the first fast passenger boats between Bristol and 
British North America. They renew for the West of England the living, 
direct connection with the New World that it had long before the St. 
Lawrence was discovered. Cabot sailed from Bristol and discovered 
North America — Newfoundland — in 1497. At Bristol the first steamer 
that crossed the Atlantic was built in 1838. She was the ' 'Great Western" 
— once more a coincidence, for it is the Great Western Railway that fur- 
nishes the special trains that take the Royal Line passengers from Bristol 
to London. 

Bristol was for hundreds of years the second city and the first port in 
the Kingdom; partly because of its general geographical situation, and 

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also because vessels could come, on the deep tide of the narrow Avon, 
right into the heart of the city, as, indeed, big steamers do to-day. The 
river comes in from the Bristol Channel through a wonderful gorge, which, 
though not as wide as, is much deeper than, that of Niagara. The 
two sides are connected by the Clifton suspension bridge, two hundred and 
forty-five feet above high water. Nowhere else can you stand in the centre 
of such beauty and look down the funnels of steamers. Clifton Downs, 
an exquisite suburban playground, is on one side of the bridge. Clifton, 
indeed, is as beautiful a suburban city as imagination can conceive. It 
contains the Cabot statue and a noble Public School. 

The "Royal George" and the "Royal Edward" dock at Avonmouth, 
a few miles down the river, where there is always deep water and the quick- 
est conveniences for transfer to the Great Western special trains that await 
London-bound passengers. 

Drawn up on the dock alongside the steamer stands a Great Western 
Railway passenger train labelled ' 'Canadian Northern Steamship Express" 
in big red letters. In a few minutes it is off to London with its load 
of passengers and their luggage. Travelling at the rate of a mile a minute 

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all the way without a stop, the train reaches the I 

Imperial capital in two hours, and discharges its | 

burden at Paddington station. Thus Bristol I 

is only one-half the distance of Liverpool from '*"'■ 

the world's metropolis. Therefore the Canadian 

Northern route includes the shortest rail haul as * ■*- 

well as the shortest ocean passage between Montreal and London. In 

view of these facts it is not surprising that the Royal boats share with a few 

other Atlantic greyhounds the carriage of the Canadian and British mails. 

For those whose business does not take them direct to London — only 
two hours' run — Bristol is a delightful headquarters for trips to most of 
the historical beauty spots in England. The West has a charm of its own. 
The climate is bright and mild. The speech of its people with its soft s's, 
its transpositions of nominative and objective, its pervading note of hos- 
pitable leisure, is the most delightful of all the dialectic wonders of the old 

Go south, across Somersetshire, you can in a few miles be in Exeter, 
quaintest of cathedral cities; or in Torquay, the nearest thing to the Riviera 
that England has — an exquisite place where palm trees nourish out of doors. 

Go north and east, and in less than an hour you are at Gloucester with 
its cathedral, or Cheltenham, the most restful of fashionable spas. It is 
only a short trip to Stratford-on-Avon and the veritable Shakespeare; and 
thence to Warwick and Leamington, Kenilworth and Coventry; and the 

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Or, if you think of Wales, there is the Severn Tunnel ; and all the in- 
dustry and romance of the Principality, just the other side of that longest 
of subaqueous wonders. 

Then, London-wards, and only half an hour by automobile, there is 
Bath; unique gathering ground for eighteenth century art and beauty, 
rank and insouciance, where you can see, in almost perfect preservation, 
the public baths the Romans used. And, if you are in no hurry for London, 
Oxford is in the way thereto. 


Second Cabin Service 



The remark that nearly all experienced travellers make when they see 
the second class saloon on the Royal Line Steamers is, ' 'Why, this is much 
better than the first class was on the best boats a few years ago." That 
is really true with regard to the location of quarters and the quality of 

The second class passengers on the Royal Line have staterooms equal 
in airiness, fixtures, and comfort to those of the first class. A criticism of 
them by other steamship people is that they are so roomy and luxurious 
that they will create a demand that cannot be met. But the Royal 
steamers were meant to set the pace for really modern travel across the 
Atlantic. The dining saloon extends across the ship, well forward. It 
is in fine mahogany, with revolving chairs, and is furnished with a piano. 
The arrangements for quick service of meals are of the very best. 

There is an admirable lounge for the lady passengers, and a smoke 
room, spacious and well arranged and furnished, for those who smoke. 

VThe library is stocked with a splendid assortment of the best books, for 
every good taste in reading. Indeed, there is nothing lacking for the 

l- IfaVeller who likes luxury to be added to convenience. 

An important feature in shipboard pleasures is the deck promenade. 
The second class on the Royal boats is remarkably good. 

For the generality of weather the covered deck is the best. It was 
not so long ago the exception for any but the first class passengers to have 
a covered deck. On the "Royal George" and "Royal Edward" the 
second class are sheltered as well as the first are. 

In fine, as was said before, the second class is, all through, far better 
than the first used to be several years ago. And the price is less. 

in Northc Limited 


urt. Walbnx